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NAHT advises members to anticipate changes to writing assessment in September 2017

Since the introduction of the interim teacher assessment frameworks for writing and our members' experiences of using them last year, NAHT has been campaigning for changes to the assessment of writing at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

The government consultation on primary assessment stated that the interim versions of the frameworks are being reviewed in all subjects, working with the teaching profession and experts, and this includes a proposed change to a more flexible approach to the assessment of English writing. It also recognised that there was a desire to move quickly on this and indicated that the DfE would be open to introducing changes for the 2017 to 2018 academic year.

Our response to the consultation on primary assessment was clear: Firstly, there must be a move away from “secure fit” to a more flexible approach to the assessment of writing to ensure that pupils with particular areas of weakness are not disadvantaged in meeting the expected standard. Secondly, the “pupil can” statements need to be reworked to rebalance the assessment to take account of both the creative and technical aspects of writing. NAHT members strongly believe these changes must take effect as soon as possible and we, therefore, support these changes being implemented in September 2017.

The government consultation set out that the DfE will not make its formal response to the consultation until September.

NAHT has been encouraged by the level of engagement from government on this issue. NAHT and other unions have been clear in our response to government that schools would welcome an end to secure fit for writing for 2017-18. On this basis, we are hopeful of an announcement to this effect when the government publishes its response to the consultation after the summer break. While we cannot guarantee that this will happen, we urge all members not to do any further work or planning using the current writing frameworks and await the government’s response to the consultation in September. 

First published 15 December 2017